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Costa Rica's Kendall Waston. Image Credit: AFP

Costa Rica will look to repeat history at the World Cup in Qatar when they bid to advance from the “Group of Death” to the knockout stages, defender Kendall Waston said.

Costa Rica beat heavy odds in 2014 to top a group with Italy, England and Uruguay before beating Greece in the last 16. They were knocked out by the Netherlands on penalties in the quarter-finals, ending the country’s best run at a World Cup.

This year Costa Rica are in Group E with European heavyweights Spain and Germany - who won the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 respectively - as well as Asian powerhouse Japan. They open their group campaign against Spain on Nov. 23.

“Many people say we’re crazy to think we can advance and be champions. But crazy people do and achieve great things,” Waston told reporters.

Not easy

“We have to be mentally prepared ... It’s not easy, (Spain) are a very strong team, but we’ve worked hard to have a good World Cup, so why not be the giant killers again?

“We’re going to throw the rock as far as we can. I don’t think anything is impossible.” Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell echoed his team mate’s sentiments, saying he sees their group rivals as players on equal terms.

“They are footballers just like us, they have two hands, two feet, one head... They are not aliens,” said Campbell who will be playing in his third World Cup.

“Clearly we have to respect them, they are good players, but so are we.” Costa Rica take on Iraq in their last warm-up match on Thursday before flying to Doha.